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Sulfuric acid fumes from cleaning shower drain

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by A L, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. A L

    A L Guest

    This morning a workman came by to my newly rented property to fix a few things, among which a slightly blocked bathtub drain.

    He let some mild water run continuously and he poured down a chemical, and it wasn't before I saw a huge vapor coming out and an intense boiling-like sound, I realized something was wrong. Basically he let down an entire bottle of >95% sulfuric acid down the drain just like that, without even wearing safety goggles or gloves. A pungent odor emanated to to whole flat and I had to open every window (he hadn't advised to open them beforehand).

    Now, I don't have much experience with chemicals of this sort, so here are my questions:

    • Did I inhale toxic fumes?
    • What should I do to make the bathroom / shower usable again? I noticed that the mirror and several water tiles that are not in the close proximity of the drain, but are on the way to the nearest window opening, show condensation streaks, such as those left by drops of water that run down. They were definitely not there before. Is that condensed sulfuric acid vapor? Do I need to clean with a sodium bicarbonate solution?
    • Needless to say, I also had towels, toothbrushes and other items in the room, do I need to take any precaution before using them (cleaning, rinsing, etc?).

    In short, how do I clean up this mess?

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